Best Gay Bar - 2002
Twin Peaks Tavern
For years, the young and the beautiful have poked fun at the venerable Twin Peaks bar. "The Glass Coffin," it's been dubbed, for the wraparound windows that allow a glimpse inside at the bar's patrons, gay men in their 50s, 60s, and beyond. While it has long been sport to snicker at the "pathetic" old men and their martinis, let's just consider who and what in the Castro is truly pathetic. What about the Detour, with its tired décor of chain-link fence, black paint, and sticky floor, and its equally tired clientele of forlorn men in their 30s and 40s? Then there's Daddy's. There's nothing wrong with a healthy leather fetish, but how can the middle-aged man trying to squeeze his middle-aged ass into leather chaps find any basis to snicker at the older gentleman enjoying a cocktail in the refined atmosphere of Twin Peaks? Or Midnight Sun, where a room full of insecure men stand around silently posing for one another as they stare at the overhead video screens blaring music videos and kitschy sitcom montages. And by the time you're frequenting Badlands in your early 30s -- because the really youthful crowd of 22-year-olds at the Cafe has left you feeling intimidated -- you should start taking some lessons from the veterans of the destructive Castro bar culture and formulate some real relationships. That way, you'll have something to talk about -- and someone to talk to -- when you're relegated to Twin Peaks. Not that it's a bad place to be, of course. Tastefully decorated, with a comfortable and inviting environment, it's a place more people of all ages should enjoy. Twin Peaks offers a level of class and civility the Castro so terribly lacks.